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Jo Ann Buening

La Crosse, Wisconsin Travel Agent
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Jo Ann Buening

Jo Ann Buening

La Crosse, Wisconsin Travel Agent
A Full-Service Travel Leaders Associate Agency
Years of Experience: 25+
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Alaska, Luxury, River & Ocean Cruise Expert

For Alaska, Cruising (River or Ocean) or Luxury Travel, you have found the source for your best vacation. Knowledge is power and since entering the industry in 1985, I have earned many travel certifications. What defines a GREAT travel agent is a commitment to learn and the passion to exceed clients' expectations. Please check out my bios, stories, photos and - most importantly - testimonials from just a few of the thousands of happy, repeat clients I have helped to realize their dream.

My Travel Specialties

Luxury Travel Professional

Private lesson with a watchmaker in Switzerland
A private watch-making experience in Switzerland with a well-known watchmaker, a private experience to a beautiful waterfall in Iceland and dinner at a remote lodge, a connection to ‘get it done’ for ‘over-the-top’ requests in Las Vegas … I could go... Read more from my Luxury Travel Professional bio.

River Cruising Specialist

Jo Ann, on one of the great rivers of Europe
Let me help you experience the relaxation of cruising down the river! Certainly, river cruising is one of the fast growing segments in travel … and I can see why. While I feel there is a place for ‘ocean’ cruising as... Read more from my River Cruising Specialist bio.

Worldwide Cruise Expert

Reflecting on the beauty of Alaska!
More than twenty-five cruises taken, well over 1,500 happy cruise passengers booked (and returned!), referrals from across the country, plus the highest cruise specialist and ‘counsellor’ designation earned give me more knowledge and personal experience in cruising than many travel agents... Read more from my Worldwide Cruise Expert bio.

Alaska Destination Specialist and Travel Expert

In my favorite destination!
Alaska became a state of the union on January 3, 1959, the same day I was born. I must have been destined to make this my specialty and over the years, I have developed a passion for Alaska! My first visit... Read more from my Alaska Destination Specialist and Travel Expert bio.


Certified ASTA Travel Agent
Book with Confidence
Certified Leisure Travel Specialist
Certified Luxury Travel Specialist
Alaska Destination Specialist
Viking River Cruises Master Specialist
Avalon Waterways Specialist
Elite Cruise Counsellor/Luxury Cruise Specialist
Elite Cruise Counsellor/Luxury Cruise Specialist
Princess Cruises Commodore
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Specialist
Travel Leaders Certified Travel Specialist

My Travel Stories

On the Rhine River
Jo Ann Buening - River Cruising
Five-star Hotel Majestic - Cannes, France
Jo Ann Buening - Luxury
Aboard Regent Seven Seas in Alaska
Jo Ann Buening - Alaska

Jo Ann Buening Joins in Elite Industry Event

Press Release:   Travel Weekly and TravelAge West host top travel advisors at Global Travel Marketplace West

La Crosse, WI - Travel Weekly and TravelAge West are proud to announce that Jo Ann Buening was selected from among hundreds of applicants to attend the fourth-annual Global Travel Marketplace West (GTM West), which... Read more from my Jo Ann Buening Joins in Elite Industry Event story.

Viking Ocean Cruising – the Best of Both Worlds!

My opportunity to experience a Viking Ocean ship came recently, from December 7-17, 2016 as I sailed the beautiful 930-passenger ship, Viking Star, round trip from San Juan.  This was my 25th cruise and once I stepped aboard, I could already tell this was going to be a great experience.  The... Read more from my Viking Ocean Cruising – the Best of Both Worlds! story.

Jo Ann Buening Honored with National Award

Press Release from October 30, 2015 La Crosse Travel Agent Honored with National “Employee of Excellence” Award from Travel Leaders Jo Ann Buening Named Among Nation’s Best at 2015 Travel Leaders National Meeting ChampionsGate, FL (October 30, 2015) — Today, a La Crosse travel agent was singled out from thousands of... Read more from my Jo Ann Buening Honored with National Award story.

My Reviews

Rating: 5 9 Reviews

The advise and recommendations were excellent

Reviewed By Skip - Onalaska, WI | Traveled to Alaska ~ USA
I appreciate the thorough and attentive attention I have received. Jo Ann's support has been very timely and professional. I am looking forward to my next trip which she has provided a great deal of information and support.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
28 of 50 people found this review helpful
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Viking Grand European River cruise

Reviewed By JM - Tomah , WI | Traveled to Prague ~ Czech Republic ~ Europe
We have been working with Jo Ann for 9 years, and her assistance with ALL our travel needs, and even a couple Crisis situations, has been stellar!! She makes a serious effort to really know her clients- their interests, preferences, special needs, and comfort level with traveling within the USA and abroad.
She is excellent in searching out the answers to all questions, and providing good advice, both from a personal and a professional perspective. We absolutely would not travel without Jo Ann's knowledge and expertise to guide us. We cannot speak more highly of her!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Jo Ann Buening responded:
Clients like you are why I LOVE my job!!
32 of 58 people found this review helpful
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A Great Partnership!

Reviewed By Carroll University's Alumni Travel Program - Waukesha, WI | Traveled to Alaska ~ USA
After more than 7 years in partnering with Jo Ann Buening from Travel Leaders in LaCrosse, WI for Carroll University’s Alumni Travel Program, Carroll’s Office of Alumni Engagement is appreciative of all of Jo Ann’s diligent work, superior service, keen attention to detail to Carroll’s needs and in serving our constituents, contribution in helping to re-build Carroll’s Alumni Travel Program, and her trust and friendship. She is a top notch travel agent who we would recommend to any individual seeking a reliable travel agent and group that is looking for someone to manage group travel and many logistics. Jo Ann helped us plan group alumni trips to Alaska, Italy, Ireland, Spain and Greece (although this one was cancelled due to the pandemic). We will miss working with you Jo Ann and will always appreciate your expertise in the travel industry, and the imprint that you have left with us, with many adventures and memories around the world that speak to it. Thank you Jo Ann!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
8 of 13 people found this review helpful
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Great trip

Reviewed By Jerry - Onalaska Wisconsin | Traveled to Vietnam ~ East and Southeast Asia
Great person to work with
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
26 of 50 people found this review helpful
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A Joy to Work With

Reviewed By Kaps - Marshfield, WI | Traveled to England ~ Europe
JoAnn has always been very helpful, providing timely information and various options to choose from. We live a couple hours from LaCrosse and we choose to work with her for our travel needs. Typically a small group of 6-8 travel together and she has been excellent at arranging cruises, tours, and before/after stays to extend the fun.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Jo Ann Buening responded:
Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy working with your group as well!!
26 of 50 people found this review helpful
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Bucket list trip

Reviewed By Michelle - La crosse wi | Traveled to Alaska ~ USA
Jo Ann Buening is very knowledgeable with Alaskan cruise. She took the time and sat down with several of us to go over documents. She had suggestions of sites to definitely see.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
27 of 53 people found this review helpful
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Reviewed By Jerry - Tomah Wi | Traveled to Beijing ~ China ~ East and Southeast Asia
My wife & I first had contact with Jo Ann in 2008 when we booked an Alaskan trip with her. (Jo Ann is an Alaskan trip expert). We were so impressed with her efficiency that since 2008 we have booked 8 river cruises to Egypt, China, Russia, Grand European, Holland, Portugal, France X 2, and 2 ocean cruises to the Mediterranean & Baltic countries. Jo Ann is always very thorough when planning a trip and she will go over all the specifics of the trip.
She has always been available to help us even when we were out of country. The day we were to leave Cairo Egypt in 2010 was the same day all European airports closed due to an eruption of a volcano in Iceland. There was a lot of confusion in Egypt about how we were going to get home. The communications systems in Egypt was not the most efficient. We were eventually able to fax JoAnn from Cairo and within an hour she replied with specific instructions for our return. She kept in contact with us until we were safely back home.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
25 of 50 people found this review helpful
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Great Travel Guide!

Reviewed By MommaLouie - Winona MN | Traveled to Alaska ~ USA
Joann was extremely knowledgeable and trustworthy with our group of 8. Her experience really helped guide us to a perfect vacation. She KNOWS Alaska inside and out! We were exptremeky pleased with her services and she took the time to deal with all of our requests!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
21 of 43 people found this review helpful
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Excellent Cruises Planned by Jo Ann

Reviewed By John and Andrea - Stone Lake, WI and Sedona, AZ | Traveled to Baltic Sea ~ At Sea ~ At Sea
Jo Ann is extremely knowledgeable and efficient. She has found many wonderful cruises for us. She has an excellent relationship with the top cruise companies. She pays attention to detail and makes sure all the "i"s are dotted and "t"s are crossed. She quickly gets to know your likes and dislikes so her suggestions and recommendations are tailored specifically to you. She is friendly and easy to work with. We will continue to use
Jo Ann for all our travel.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
23 of 50 people found this review helpful
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Customer Testimonials

Jo Ann is Absolutely the Best!

During the last 7 years, Jo Ann has helped us plan and carry out many “trips of a lifetime”; we are deeply grateful for her wonderful help. She is much more than a travel agent. She is a trusted friend who goes above and beyond to make our dreams come true! Jo Ann is helping us plan our second Disney family cruise in June 2017. In hope we could get a reservation on one of the few “double dipping” (twice at Castaway Cay) cruises before they sold out, she came into the office several hours early to begin calling to secure our booking. She was successful after being on hold for nearly two hours, arranging cabins near each other for the thirteen of us. Jo Ann makes all of this planning look effortless on her part, but the truth is, she is an expert - a pro, and her work is the result of years of training and doing and listening to her clients. She is just the best, and we are so thankful for all of her help in planning the next in our long list of upcoming adventures!

Provided by Michael & Joanne W. - Ferryville, WI

Your Efforts Are What Made This Trip Fantastic

Dear Jo Ann; There are not enough words, nor enough ways that we can express our gratitude for the work you did to provide us with a nearly perfect trip. (You could not make some of the other guests adopt preventative measures to stop the spread of germs!) Everything, and I mean everything could not have been better. Avalon is a tremendous company and provided a first-class experience. We feel, however, that your efforts on our behalf were what made this trip so fantastic. From the moment we first started the process, until our pre-departure session, we never had a concern because we knew you had worked on our behalf and had taken care of every little detail. You equipped us with all the information we needed to go off and not be anxious, because there were no unknowns. Other passengers were so impressed with you, but we knew that indeed you are truly 'the best.' Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! We are so grateful!

Provided by Bob and Gretchen - La Crosse, WI

Wonderful Planning and Service

We just wanted to thank you for the wonderful planning and service you gave us on this trip again. We had a great time and know it was because you had taken care of all the details for us. What a wonderful job you are doing for us! This is trip #3 and we couldn't be happier. Thank you again…

Provided by Dr. Ken & Joan M., West Union, IA

Everything Was Wonderful!

JoAnn, Again, thank you for planning our wonderful cruise on Viking. Perfect, fantastic and beautiful; all these words apply. Soooo relaxing AND entertaining! And EVERYTHING was taken care of in such great detail. Patty and I shall remember and cherish forever. Great memories for all. Fabulous!!

Provided by Jim & Pat B. Prairie du Chien, WI

Terrific Anniversary Trip!

Dear Jo Ann; Wow! Thank you so much for making our anniversary trip so terrific! We had a fabulous time. Going first class all the way was truly wonderful. Both my husband and I felt SO pampered.

Provided by Madalene B., La Crosse, WI

A Fabulous Grand European River Cruise!

Dear Jo Ann; Where do we begin? We have just returned from our fabulous Grand European River Cruise with Viking. Every single thing was absolutely wonderful! Your pre-trip preparations for us anticipated every and all situations, and we marveled at how much your information to us, prior to leaving, surpassed that of our fellow travelers. Your thoroughness, once again, is so appreciated. Viking is an absolutely wonderful company for traveling. They smoothly and seemingly effortlessly guided us every step of the way of our 15-day cruise. Their schedule was on time - to the minute. Extras were included as wonderful discoveries ... like special lectures, cooking demonstrations, musical programs and bringing a glass blower on board for a demo. We would recommend this trip to anyone and we hope to travel with Viking again in another part of the world. Again, Jo Ann, thank you so much for your wonderful professionalism in guiding and preparing us for this adventure!

Provided by Michael and Joanne W., Ferryville, WI

The Work You Do Matters!

What a FABULOUS cruise! It could not have been better. The service, the food, the opportunities, the cabin --everything was superb and completely delighted us. It was just the medicine we needed ... and we came home with lifelong memories. So, again - thank you. The work you do matters and you do it so well! You touched our lives in a most positive and healing way.

Provided by Katherine K., Viroqua, WI